Subject. The development of modern information technologies determines the emergence of new opportunities for obtaining empirical data on household consumption. This allows the formation of new, alternative indicators characterizing various aspects of the standard of living. The article describes one of these indicators, i.e. the free money index. Objectives. The purpose is to show the possibilities of the free money index in the analysis of living standards of the population. Methods. The empirical basis of the study is the data of the Federal State Statistics Service and Romir Consumer Scan Panel. Results. We calculated the free money index for households in Russia from 2008 to 2019. In general, the index has an upward trend, except 2009 and 2015. It includes cities with different population and takes into account the level of inflation, physical volume of purchases by four selected products, and seasonal fluctuations. Conclusions. The free money index, differing from the purchasing power, the wealth index and other indicators, characterizes the structure and changes in household consumption, and objectively reflects the well-being of the population. The free money index computation is necessary for the current analysis of economic and social policy measures. In more general terms, it can also be used to study the household behavior in micro- and macroeconomic aspects, the public welfare, and the impact of income distribution on economic development.
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